Talk on Television: Audience Participation and Public Debate

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Psychology Press, 1994 - Performing Arts - 201 pages
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Not only is everyday conversation increasingly dependent on television, but more and more people are appearing on television to discuss social and personal issues. Is any public good served by these programmes or are they simply trashy entertainment which fills the schedules cheaply? Talk on Television examines the value and significance of televised public debate. Analysing a wide range of programmes including Kilroy, Donohue and The Oprah Winfrey Show, the authors draw on interviews with both the studio participants and with those watching at home. They ask how the media manage discussion programmes and whether the programmes really are providing new 'spaces' for public participators. They find out how audiences interpret the programmes when they appear on the screen themselves, and they unravel the conventions - debate, romance, therapy - which make up the genre. They also consider TV's function as a medium of education and information, finally discussing the dangers and opportunities the genre holds for audience participation and public debate in the future.

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Television talk and talking about television
The mass media democracy and the public sphere
Studio debates and audience discussions A television genre
The critical viewer
Media constructions of expertise and common sense
Media management of argument and rhetoric
Studio discussions social spaces and postmodernity
Data collection
Programme selection
Coding focus group discussions

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About the author (1994)

Livingstone is of London School of Economics and Political Science.

Peter Lunt is Professor of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester. His research interests include audience research, popular television, the public understanding of media regulation and media and social theory. He is currently working on a project on media, history and memory and on the changing understanding of public service broadcasting. He is the author of five books including Talk on Television" (with Sonia Livingstone, Routledge, 1994) and Stanley Milgram" (Palgrave, 2010) and many academic papers and chapters.

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